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One of the wonderful and amazing things about the dental industry is the amount of friendships that are formed within the framework of what truly is a tight-knit business community. There are things that we take for granted, and there are things that seem to never change. Among those constants is the role that Susan DiGiambattista has played in the lives of so many dental consultants through the Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC) for more than 25 years.
For more than a quarter of a century, DiGiambattista has worked tirelessly as the ADMC’s executive director, moving the association through the decades and all of the changes we have seen in our industry. However, at this November’s meeting in Washington, D.C., the ADMC executive director torch will be passed as DiGiambattista retires and Bonnie Pugh takes over as the next executive director.
“For me, it will be a very bittersweet moment,” DiGiambattista (pictured at left) said. “I’ve learned how to be the executive director by the seat of my pants and learned so much over the years. The transition to Bonnie will make a huge difference in our technological capabilities and improvements and the way we keep up with our members. We will really move ahead under her leadership, I believe.”
Pugh is excited about the technological changes that will soon come to the association and help keep it at the forefront of the industry.
“We have to focus on growing ourselves and growing our business,” Pugh said. “Technology gets us all to where we want and need to go. It’s always been a strength and passion of mine and I think it will help ADMC reach new heights. We will keep our core values in the middle of everything and use technology when it makes sense for our organization and members.”
ADMC was founded in the spring of 1987 when Charlie Kidd, the founder and president of Trojan Professional Services, organized and sponsored a conference for dental consultants. He noted consultants played an important role in successful dental practices. He also observed they operated in somewhat of a vacuum, rarely communicating with each other and seeing each other as competitors rather than colleagues. According to DiGiambattista, Kidd had a unique way of bringing people together and guiding them to common ground. He believed that by sharing their experiences, challenges, and insights, each individual would grow â¦ and the dental field as a whole would benefit.
From that initial conference, a core group of national consultants formed The Academy of Dental Management Consultants. The ADMC now boasts more than 130 members, meets annually for two days in conjunction with the American Dental Association’s annual session, has developed a code of ethics for the industry, and offers educational, inspirational, and networking opportunities for its members.
Kidd provided the inspiration for ADMC while his assistant, DiGiambattista, was instrumental in the organization. When Kidd passed away in 1990, DiGiambattista believed her role was to keep the spirit of Charlie alive. She also knew it was important to continue support of the ADMC which he held so dear. DiGiambattista, along with her duties at Trojan, would continue to share her passion and organizational skills by serving as ADMC’s executive director. No one in the industry knew Charlie better so she was, in essence, the perfect person to keep Kidd’s spirit alive.
Over the years, the ADMC has given its highest award, The Charles Kidd Spirit Award, to five consultants who exemplify all the Academy stands for: Leadership, Standards, Vision, Ethics, Integrity, and Commitment. DiGiambattista is among the award’s winners.
“I’m most proud of the growth that ADMC has seen over the years,” DiGiambattista said. “I think we’ve always been the industry’s best-kept secret and I think it’s time that that stops. There is an immeasurable amount of knowledge that our members have and I want dental practices around the country to know ADMC is ready to help them succeed.”
Pugh (pictured at left) agrees.
“I want ADMC to be the go-to organization for consultants and speakers and for dentists when they are looking for help,” Pugh explained. “This organization doesn’t have the visibility it should have. For those of us who know about ADMC, it’s second nature to think of members when help is needed. But there are still a lot of people out there who have never heard of us. I believe that’s going to change.”
Yes, change is coming to the ADMC with DiGiambattista’s retirement. While it will mark the end of an ADMC era, it will also signify the start of a new chapter.
“I’ll be 69 when I retire,” DiGiambattista said. “I’m looking forward to the next part of my life, but it’s also very hard to let go. I’m turning it over to someone I trust and someone who I know will carry on Charlie’s vision. That definitely makes it easier.”
“I know that when I have left other positions, it’s been very hard to let go,” Pugh added. “We’ve talked a lot about it and she knows that I will carry on the history and vision of this great organization. I’m very excited about what lies ahead for all of us.”
Editor’s Note: For more information on the ADMC, log on to www.admc.net.